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Monday, 4 May 2015

Star Wars Armada

Okay, I need to STOP trying to learn a ruleset at a tournament and preferably, learn how to play it before a tournament. 

What is Star Wars Armada about? It's basically a fleet scale version of X-wing; down to the proprietary movement template and special dice. However, there are changes. Unlike X-wing where you're able to decide your actions every turn; in Star Wars Armada, you often have to plan your turns 2-3 turns ahead. How does this work?

Well, each ship has something known as a COMMAND value that requires you to set X commands at the start of the game; where X = your command value. These commands are placed in a certain order and during turn 1, you reveal the topmost command and then during turn 2, you reveal the 2nd command and so on. Every turn, you will place a new command under the existing stack of commands, so in essence, you're planning 2-3 turns ahead as most ships have that much command. This severely complicates matters at times because some turns, you want to repair your ships but you didn't plan to repair your ship when you placed the command 2 turns earlier so you end up hoping the enemy doesn't kill you until your repair command comes up. 

As for attacking...Well, much like X-wing, it's a matter of rolling dice, although there are no evasion dice in this game. However, ships aren't totally defenseless though as they have special 'abilities' that can help mitigate damage. Furthermore, every single ship has shields, which helps. 

When attacking, you choose which arc of your ship to fire from and then you check the range to your targeted arc. There are 3 bands of firing range in this, much like X-wing. However, unlike X-wing, each band has a different variety of dice that can be used in that range. For example, at the furthest band, only red dice may be rolled. At medium range, red and blue. At close, red, blue and black. However, not all ships have all 3 types of dice, especially in their front range.
 So with this card as an example, you'll notice that the front arc only has 2 red and 2 black. That means if it ever wants to use its full arsenal, it has to have its opponent within close range, which isn't as easy as it seems since ships fire THEN move in this game; so you can just keep running away from anyone who has black dice. Also, if you'll note the number in each arc, that's the amount of shields that's available in each arc. 

So that's pretty much the basics of Star Wars Armada. As a side note, I learnt most of this during my first game of Armada. Which didn't really go well but I have to thank my opponent for being pretty gracious during the game, especially since I was just learning how to play. However, I still got my butt majorly kicked, with most of my forces being tabled. However, I at least won my other games so that was good enough I guess.

In the end, Star Wars Armada is a pretty interesting game although only the core set is out at this moment so it's hard to say just how viable the game is when you really only have 3 different ship types to play around with.