Monday, October 12, 2015

Something, Something, Something, Darkside...


So, when Star Wars Armada was officially announced as a future release, I was curious about the game but that's about it. However Screech, my adopted little brother all but had a raging hard on for the game for no other reason than the fact that he could have a Star Destroyer. He freely admitted it too. Hell, we were giving an X-Wing demo to some friends and his comment was (quote):

'You don't need to worry about this game, because 6-months down the road a vastly superior game is coming out.'

The game was still in development, little was known about it aside from you can field a Star Destroyer, and that apparently equaled 'vastly superior'. As such, the insistence that Armada is better without knowing really anything about it mantra really kinda ticked Wolfy and I off, and we basically ignored it out of spite/annoyance.

You will respect my authoritah!!!

Then the game was released and very quickly, people got bored with it because with so few models every game was basically the same (i.e.: Screech kicking everyone's ass!). Combine that with FFG's 'there's a new release every 4-6 months' schedule (something that's caused at least one local Armada player to rage-quit the game already), and stagnation was almost immediate. Another reason we avoided Armada after its release, is that we didn't know if it would catch on or not. Actually that's partly why we stayed away from X-Wing for a year or so. Has Armada caught on? Well, honestly its kinda gone quiet locally, as people await further releases and some much needed variety.

A little ways back I downloaded the rules and read thru them, I checked various blog reviews on different ships, cards, squadrons, and game play, and in general all seemed positive for the most part. The game does look good, and looks to fill the void created by the demise of BFG (and no, a video game of BFG doesn't make up for that either!)

Really? They couldn't do anything better than this fugly looking ship? Did they never show the back end of the ship in the video game that spawned it? What the hell?

The Rebels don't have much appeal to me (unlike X-Wing where they're my preference) because (1) their 1st capital ship looks just god awful (Screech's thought on the Mk II was: 'Rebel players were so desperate for a ship to compete with a Victory Class and would buy anything due to the lack of choices' which sadly, makes a lot of sense...). (2) Whilst I understand that a Victory Star Destroyer isn't an Imperial Star Destroyer, I don't think its right that a pair of escorts ought to have a good chance of killing one just for game balance (despite the above mentioned need for the Mk II). Fluff wise, that just strikes me as a contradiction right out of the box (literally). (3) and yes, I'd rather have a Star Destroyer because, who the hell wouldn't?

Game Balance?
...or Canon fluff?
...yeah, fuck you game balance!

The game's cost is a concern as well, X-Wing is cheap by most standards, whereas Armada is a lot more expensive though still nothing like 40k's insane pricing (What's that you say? Three new Battletech-like Tau super-suits for $150 EACH?!? Sign me up!). Still, Screech is coming over to give me a demo on Armada tonight (a.k.a.: last Thursday by the time this posts. We have family in town from New Jersey, Kentucky and Nashville and its not even a friggin' holiday! So this post is being typed up well in advance).

Actually, the biggest draw that I have to Armada is the simple fact that its a game that Screech and I can play together. I've called him my adopted little brother for years now (he used to be one of the annoying little brats at the FLGS) and we've gamed together for over a decade. However over the past few years, our tastes have changed and we don't currently play any games together. Sure we both still have Battletech and 40k, but those two rarely hit the tabletop anymore. Indeed the last game we played together was Infinity, yeah..that game.

So I'm hoping I'll like Armada, and if so then maybe down the road I'll build up a smallish fleet of my own (Christmas presents perhaps? hint,


Kushial said...

Yes, Screech's news that you were playing Armada willingly had McNally salivating and rubbing his hands together in anticipation of the next time you two crossed paths.

Da Masta Cheef said...

lol, well from what I understand, he has as much of an Armada collection as I do right now...

Mike M said...

Sorry there sunshine. It wasn't anticipation, but shock and awe. After bad mouthing it so hard for so long I was caught off guard. That's all. And for the record I have exactly 0 Armada.

Waaargh Pug said...

Armada is a super fun game. It's a little rough playing as the rebels... but then, really, it should be. They should be the underdogs.

Also, the Mark II assault frigate is a lot cooler in person. (but I'm biased because I actually like the design of it in general)

And game balance? The star destroyers can literally one-shot both rebel ships in the starter box. I've had it happen. In fact... I've never managed to kill a star destroyer at all, just that little Gladiator carrier ship. And if I remember correctly (which, granted, it's been years since I've seen it), didn't a single A-Wing crashing into the bridge take out the Executor in RotJ? :)

Da Masta Cheef said...

Yes, but to write that bit into the rules would turn Armada into the Age of Sigmar, and we don't want that now do we?

P.S.: Your like of AoS is NOT a valid argument btw...

neverness said...

That was a fluke though, the gun crews didn't react fast enough to the order to "INTENSIFY FORWARD FIREPOWER!!!!"

Screech said...

Actually, I find the Rebels have the advantage in most situations. While the Imperials have greater a greater hull and firepower advantage on a one-to-one comparison, the Rebels will almost always outnumber the Imperials and be able to outmaneuver them in most situations. In fact, I attribute my current victories to luck (good/bad die rolls) and errors that I was able to take advantage of (though mostly the former).