Sunday, October 15, 2017

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Armada Deserves Your Attention

Armada players in their native environment.
The test monkeys discover the hidden camera.
For years and years, Star Wars had been kind of a stale thing.  Like, since BEFORE the prequels, for those of you that remember.  It was X-Wing that got me back on the Star Wars hype train, and the Force Awakens trailer made me cry.  Before I saw it, of course.

Either way, I've always been a Star Wars fan, and I finally just accepted it a few years ago.  I finally saw how hard it was to have lived with that denial all my life.  My 'movie' was Return of the Jedi, and I was four years old when it came out.  I remember watching it on laserdisc in 1984 or something.  It made an impression, and I've had a lightsaber in my heart almost my entire life.  Figuratively.

#5 - Star Wars & FFG

Fantasy Flight Games must be commended on their Star Wars lines.  They dovetail nicely with each other and hit all the major beats - ship to ship combat at fighter and fleet scales, several RPG's covering facets of the universe, card games, board games and an upcoming miniatures wargame, Star Wars: Legion.

You can wage war at every level in the same universe, a feat that has only been matched by a few franchises.  Star Wars has never matched this impetus before, but now it's a cornerstone (or should be) of every gaming club.  Kudos to FFG, you knocked it out of the park.

#4 - More Complex Mechanics

Veteran gamers will enjoy the depth of the system, while simultaneously realizing it's not as complex as some other systems.  The mechanics are MORE complex, than say X-Wing, but not TOO complex to put off newcomers.  This gives Armada an appeal to a wider audience that goes beyond the Star Wars branding.

#3 - It's a Great Introduction to the Space Navy

Fleet-scale games require a little more imagination to get the most out of.  A lot of the movement and positioning has to be abstracted because of the sheer scale involved in the simulation, which is usually measured in kilometers.  To simulate the sluggishness of some ships, and the dependency upon support and distance, some different mechanics are utilized that might trip up some casual or X-Wing newcomers.  However, if you are introducing new players to different types of games all the time, Armada provides a quick jump off point to fleet scale space battles for newbies.  Everyone knows what a Star Destroyer is, and even if they aren't familiar with some of the ships or terminology if they are a budding gamer they'll quickly grasp the conventions and be able to take them along as they explore more complex rulesets.

#2 - Models & Dice

The models rock, end of story.  They are well-painted right out of the box, and you can have a ship ready to fight in a few minutes after purchasing it.  That alone is worth the price of admission.

However, the dice have got to be a selling point as well.  Many of us old-timers balked at having to use these colorful dice with strange symbols at first, but the novelty of them has grown on me.  These dice simplify the mechanics and playability by removing a lot of the math traditionally associated with combat calculations.

I think the dice mechanics, across all of FFG's Star Wars line, are the single most important thing that allows the games to attract and retain 'new' players, and by 'new' I mean brand new gamers.  The dice may have been off-putting at first, but they are colorful moving pieces whose symbols are easy to read and understand without any involved calculus or trigonometry.  Not that math is a bad thing.

#1 - Relative Snootiness

Yes.  It's a well known fact that if you play both Armada and X-Wing you are allowed to be snooty toward "X-Wing Only" plebes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think about that?