Intense dogfights between X-Wings and TIE fighters screaming past one another amidst an all-out offensive against Endor or in the timeless whirls of space as a looming Star Destroyer advances forward.
It’s this experience that people have been trying to recreate ever since the original Star Wars trilogy came out – in the arcades, on the PC and even in the playground.
Fantasy Flight have brought this experience to tabletops in the past with their beloved X-Wing miniatures game, but now they’ve come out with Star Wars: Armada; a game on a much grander scale.
Intense tabletop strategy
For those new to the genre, Armada and X-Wing are both strategy games where you command a fleet of your own miniature starships from the Star Wars lore against a friend that provide several mission scenarios to re-enact. X-Wing invited different strategies for players to take and rewarded both careful squadron manoeuvring and highly aggressive playstyles.
Armada still has that simplistic yet carefully-planned game-play but has sufficiently upscaled everything to create larger, more epic battles. This also means that a number of rules have been upscaled too, meaning that the simple nature of the gameplay will be somewhat foreign to X-Wing veterans, and outright daunting to newcomers.
Large ships now have several different ‘zones’ that need to be attacked – adding more depth to the manoeuvre and speed game-play of X-Wing. The simple rules of X-Wing of just choosing a manoeuvre and a speed for your ships and executing it has been superseded by a series of slightly more complicated versions of the same rules.
Armada isn’t as easy to learn for beginners as X-Wing was, but the fun is still there to be had for those willing to give the dice, dials and manoeuvre tool a chance. Trust me; the lengthy rules explanation will be worth it.
Fantasy Flight are masters of their craft – providing a gorgeous set of pre-painted ships, including a huge Star Destroyer, a CR90 Corellian Corvette, a Nebulon-B Frigate, and of course the X-Wings and TIE fighters. They’ve painstakingly crafted and painted to look like the real thing, only tiny. It may seem like a lot has been listed there, but to have a decent game with a friend, it’s ideal to have two starter packs.
Price is a major draw-back. For enough pieces to have a viable game against a friend you’ll need at least one starter pack per player, which is a total of £160 retail (£80 each). The more casual tabletop players may not want to pony up this kind of cash, but the quality of the miniatures is good enough to justify the high asking price – and you could definitely use those extra squadrons for larger scale games.
For dedicated fans of both Star Wars and tabletop strategy, then both the starter pack and expansions are well worth it. The first wave of ship expansions is available for the game at to help you boost your fleet, but what’s been provided for you straight out of the starter pack box provides enough fun for hundreds of hours of TIE fighter on X-Wing action.
Content provided by Tritex Games.