Experience an epic space battle onto your tabletop. Squadrons, large battleships, flying asteroids, and lots of strategic decisions & maneuvering. This is a 2 player miniature war game, that has some similarities to Star Wars: X-Wing (you can check our Star Wars: X-Wing game review). But that is probably the only similarity. More scale, more complexity, more strategy & planning, and especially, more super large-sized ships. I am really, really glad that the base game edition contains the famous Star Destroyer and CR90 Corvette. Despite being a collectible game, these ships truly make even the base game pretty entertaining.
So the The “reasoning” why Rebel & Empire forces meet head to head is always decided by an objective. It could be the defense of an objective, assault mission where the ship is the target, or it could also be a navigation mission where players score points based on their maneuvering precision. With additional game sets, players also obtain more new objectives.
In either case, it is so much fun. Players control their ships, squadrons to direct them head to head combat of 6 rounds. Splash as many those ships as you can, If you manage to destroy all enemy ships, you win the game immediately. Otherwise, at the end of 6 rounds, players score the victory points based on ships destroyed & the main objective results’.
I would say that this is a relatively long game, it could take up to a few hours. There are lots of planning involved. From positioning your ships and squadrons, command orders implementation the combat & movement of ships & squadrons. You feel like a general of the entire fleet, and you take time to create & proceed with your strategy.
In the first part of the game, the tension slowly builds itself up, as big, large ships start approaching and come closer to the firing range. Once the ships, squadrons are in position, oh boy, here the fun begins. Endless firing battles, and attempts to outplay, outsmart your opponent.
When I look at the replay value, I cannot overlook the comparison of the base edition and the replay potential with those expansions.
The base game replays seem legit. There are 12 objective cards, 18 upgrade cards, which basically provide some decent opportunities to make repeat game-play that would not be too identical. I only wish that there would be more ships included. But that would definitely grow the price of the game a lot.
Things get really more interesting once you master the base game tactics. This makes you crave more, especially if you enjoy the game a lot. There are over 30 expansions already released, that really bring the game to a brand new level.
Also, there are lots of serious players of Star Wars: Armada. Thousands of players participate in Star Wars: Armada tournaments every year. Many of these players try out the most expansions, to figure out “what the current meta is”. But you do not have to own it all. To be safe on those replays, a few expansion packs are certainly enough.
Here is a pretty good article that ranks Star Wars: Armada expansions if you are planning to get some. And for the players that are starting out, check this Reddit discussion with some useful suggestions on what you should invest in, based on your budget & play-style preferences.
Art & parts
If you are a miniature games fan – those models look stunning. They are huge, pre-painted, it makes you feel butterflies in your belly. Cards, tokens, and other components look nice and feel qualitative as well. The dice are nice, but a little too few in quantity. Often players choose to purchase an additional set of Star Wars: Armada dice. They are not mandatory but certainly increase the game pace and help out to track those battles.
Star Wars: Armada is definitely a quite pricey game. Miniature games are naturally a little more expensive, but I think if you are a fan of large battle simulations, this is absolutely worth it. At the same time, if you want to experience the armada to the fullest, you must get some expansions, therefore, this is also reflected in the price score.
X-Wing vs Armada
If you are not sure which game you would like more – Armada or X-Wing, let me suggest to you this: if you enjoy a fast-paced, quick combat game, flight simulation, go for X-Wing, it has less planning a lot more tense action from the very beginning of the game. On the contrary, if you are a fan of strategy, lots of planning ahead, and enjoy more of managing larger-scale battles, you should try out Star Wars: Armada. Both games are great, but one is about small squadron fights, another is about large Rebel vs Empire battles, where patience & planning is the key.