Star Wars Armada has been a great game for a number of years, so we asked Mike to look into it as a beginner.
With the introduction of two new Clone Wars starters to Star Wars Armada, an influx of new players are suddenly asking how they can jump on board this amazing game. Unsurprisingly for a game that has been around for many years, it can seem more than a little intimidating. Fortunately, the new Republic and Separatist starter sets are a great way to experience and learn the mechanical ins and outs of Star Wars Armada. While the starters do include a “Learn to Play” guide, many players may still wonder about building a fleet for their first game considering the sheer volume of upgrade cards available at this point. This introduction is intended to help navigate you through your first game.
The new faction starter sets make ideal entry points for new players. One starter and a fighter pack of your chosen faction are an excellent starting fleet for your first couple of games. It also would be advisable to pick up a copy of the Upgrade Card Collection right away as well, because that single expansion will unlock numerous fleet building options later.
For your first couple of games, sticking to the contents of the starter fleet boxes and adding in a few additional fighters from the fighter pack will give you more than enough to handle as you learn the mechanics of Star Wars Armada. I would recommend putting no more than one upgrade on each ship in addition to your chosen admiral. The “Learn to Play” book may recommend not using any Objectives for your first game, but they are such an integral part of the game that I believe that is a mistake.
When it comes to fleet-building, it is important to talk with your opponent beforehand. For these first games, agreeing to a lower point total and playing on a smaller surface will help you get a better grasp on the mechanics. Playing at 250 points on a 3’x3’ playing surface should give you a very good feel for the game and allow you to understand the mechanics of Star Wars Armada better. An important rule to remember at this point is that your fleet can have up to one-third of its points in squadrons, so no more than 84 points in squadrons for a 250-point game.
Once you have a good grasp of the game at this level, moving up to the full 6’x3’ play area will unlock a lot more of the game’s strategic depth for you. This increased play area will allow you to set up more advanced maneuvers and tactics like flanking, forks and feints. As you increase the play area, increasing the fleet points will also help you feel more like an admiral commanding a task force. At this point, dipping into the upgrades in the Upgrade Card Collection will unlock a plethora of fleet building options for you to explore.
Star Wars Armada puts you in the admiral’s chair of your own task force and asks you to outsmart and outplay your opponent. With so many moving parts, this can seem overwhelming for newer players. Following some of the advice laid out here will help smooth your introduction to the galaxy of options available to you, and you’ll soon be leading your armada to victory.
“May warrior’s fortune smile upon your efforts.” – Thrawn