SW Armada: You Should Play This Game

With six waves out and a seventh coming soon Star Wars Armada is a game entering a golden age.

Star Wars Armada is an amazing game. It has something for just about all types of wargamers and any fan of Star Wars or big space battles. Obviously I love the game or I wouldn’t be writing about it all the time. I’m also not the only person who loves it; Armada has a devoted and growing fan base. If you are not part of the bases yet, maybe you’ve never got the chance to play it, or you tried it early on but never got into – that’s understandable. But you should know there has never been a better time to get into then now. With a sixth wave and an awesome campaign system, and more to come, it has evolved into a force to be reckoned with. Like X-wing before it, Armada has grown into an amazing game worthy of your time. If you will kindly allow me, I’d like to take a few minutes and tell you just a little about why you should really give it a chance.

This is NOT a trap.

Amazing and Evocative Miniatures

Maybe the coolest thing about Armada is the miniatures. These amazing pre-painted ships leap off the screen and on to your table bringing with them all the imagery of the grandest space battles. I don’t think anyone who’s grown up as a Star Wars fan can help but smile the first time they play around with the truly massive Imperial Star Destroyer mini. The minis to me really help sell the size and just coolness of a Star Wars space battle – the models are super evocative.

In addition they, and the unpainted fighter models, leave plenty of room for painting, re-painting, lighting and other hobby endeavors that are sure to give you display worthy models. From the deadly and iconic dagger shape of the ISD to the gracefully swept back wings of the MC80 Liberty the models alone are a great reason to check this game out. The models bring old favorites from Legends and new ships from the shows and movies to your tabletop.

And some fan favorites from the EU get some love…

An Ever Growing Game

Armada started out small. At it’s initial release there where only five capital ships, three Rebel and two Imperial, and neither of the Imperial ships had shown up in a movie. The game has now grown with both bigger and smaller ships, the iconic ships of movies and tv shows have arrived and the options for play are endless. Armada mines ships from the Old EU and the newest Lucas film properties for the best play options. And now they have Thrawn. Can’t beat that!

A Tight Rule System

While Armada tends to be just slightly more complicated than X-Wing, it’s rule set is a tightly written and well worded system. These rules will appeal to those who like depth in their games, while at the same time not being too complicated for newer players. In addition FFG has an active approach to releasing FAQs to clarify contentious rules issues. Recently they’ve also shown a willingness to fix major imbalances with erratas leading to an overall healthier game.

Lots of Room to Fly Casual

Not everyone wants to play the most tightly regimented game ever made. Lucky Armada, while working within a tight system remains a fairly laid back game. It’s higher emphasis on skill and massed battles makes it less combo heavy then games like X-Wing and as a result it tends to have a more casual feel to it. It’s very easy to take Armada either as a tight competitive game or a nice laid back relaxing game where your fleets batter each other into star dust.

Missions and Campaigns

One of the reasons Armada remains more laidback is the use of the cool and often evocative missions. A feature that is lacking in standard X-wing games, but present it most narrative minded games, the missions help add a cool element to the games. Last year the Corellian Conflict Expansion added an amazing campaign system for great casual play. If you’ve ever wanted to push your fleets across the stars conquering planet after planet this is for you.

Since then players have worked on a huge number of home-brew campaigns based on the provided system. The expansion also give us a host of new missions. Some are fun and wacky for casual play, but some are a bit more balanced and legal in competitive play. Both keep the game fresh and fun.

So Give It a Try

I could go on and on about why this game is great, but the best thing you cane do is just give it a try. From it’s amazing models to it’s fun and tight rules Star Wars Armada delivers on every level. If your a fan of Star Wars, or space battles, or X-Wing, or miniature gaming in general you owe it to yourself to check the game out. The entry point is low and the amazing box set can always be shared with a friend. Pick Rebels or Imperial or both and build your fleet from there. This game is only going to get better and when it comes to Armada the stars are the limit.


We’re 6 waves in – if you were an early adopter and stepped away, come back and try the new ships. If you haven’t played yet come on in, the water’s getting GOOD.

  • Calgar

    I tried armada initially, but it just didn’t click for me. I think perhaps it was because I wanted it to be Battlefleet Gothic (one of my favorite tabletop games ever) and it was nothing like it.

    The other thing that has gotten me off FFG miniatures games is the business model that tries encourages you to buy models that you don’t need, or are not for your army, just to get upgrades for the ones you have. I played X-wing for the first 2 years, but I didn’t like how there was pressure to get everything. I felt like I wasn’t being given a choice of new things to buy, just a list of new things I needed to get.

    Their new game Runewars looks very promising, but I wont even try it because of this pressure to buy everything. It also has me concerned about the upcoming Star Wars tabletop offering which looks excellent.

    One of my favorite parts of the hobby is planning my army, and decifing what to buy next. I don’t like the ammount of pressure FFG applies for me to buy stuff I don’t need just to get upgrades for the stuff I do need.

    • Scott Resnick

      I don’t know for Armada, but for XWing, there are people on ebay who make a business out of this. Whole databases of upgrade cards and even ships without cards. They buy all the kits and break down all of those components to buy just what you need.

    • Jeremy Larson

      Plus, unless you play in tournaments, most players have no problem with you using an army builder on your phone, or even just a print out with what cards you’re using and what they do.

    • ZeeLobby

      Just an FYI, Runewars contains everything you need card wise in faction. And most expansions also include new objectives, deployments, etc.

    • Sanguinius113

      Maybe Give Dropfleet commander a try? It scratches the same itch Battefleet gothic did for me. Same for Dropzone commander and Epic 40k, def not the same game tho. but at least Dropfleet is co written by Andy chambers, so enough is similar to BFG that you might like it provided youv people to play against. As someone who still loves and owns BFG stuff i highly recomend Dropfleet Commander.

    • Thornoo1

      Runewars doesn’t require you to buy out of faction. The cards are repeated.

    • Marco Marantz

      You nailed the core problem….that and they are putting every obscure ship into the games to pad out their waves.

  • Damistar

    I like the game, but it has taken so long to get new models out and it seems the range will be severely limited if they stay only in the Galactic Civil War period. What major ships are remaining unreleased even now, with them only drawing from the movies and Rebels? The EU has a lot of options, but I don’t think we’ll see Hapan Battle Dragons, Yuuzon Vong ships or the like from Disney

    licensing. FFG isn’t even mining the Clone Wars for ideas.

  • Krizzab

    hahahahahah NO, play DFC instead. This is a money card trap like all FFG miniature stuff.

    • GoodOleBoy01

      Won’t try to take away anything from Armada, but must jump in and help beat the drum for DFC! Calgar (posted a few above this one),
      You must try it, DFC is a worthy replacement for Battlefleet Gothic!

    • GoodOleBoy01

      Won’t try to take away anything from Armada, but must jump in and help beat the drum for DFC! The first reply guy must try it, DFC is a worthy replacement for Battlefleet Gothic!

    • danutzfreeman

      Yeah i’ve been meaning to get into this as well,since BFG seems to be taking it’s sweet time returning and i do like the minis Hawk is producing. Do you know if the boxes they’ll release will be available from sites like Wayland games?

  • I_am_Alpharius

    And awfully expensive* and suffers from the same issues CCG have. In that the game has become pay to win by whoever the best cards.

    *at least for my tastes

    • marlowc

      Got to disagree on the cost of cards issue – this is nothing like a ccg in that respect. Since you don’t have to shuffle the cards and draw from a deck, you can just download and print them yourself onto thin card, then sleeve them. Works fine and no real cost at all.
      If you stick to just one faction, you don’t even need to spend a shed load of money on the minis either. No, as miniatures games go, this is pretty damn cheap 🙂

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Sorry but £30-40 (depending on retailer) for a starter set consisting of three 4.5mm (X-wing something like 1/270 scale?) and a bunch of card stock is dear for ready made pre-painted miniatures. With extra craft starting from £14 and up towards £92 for one ship. Its expensive for a hobby, where the only part of the hobby is playing the game. No building, no painting or converting that a true/traditional Miniature Wargame has.

        I think you miss my point with the cards. Yes, I know it’s not exactly like CCG, where you build a deck and shuffle and draw. The point was, there is a huge element of this the new upgrade card or ship and it’s a must have to remain competitive. As for “printing” them not exactly a solution when you often need the appropriate ship to go with it – plus many (if not most) tournaments won’t allow printed copies.

        • ZeeLobby

          The good news is that if you aren’t an Uber competitive person you dont have to worry about most of your concerns. Heck our local events allow printed cards anyway. They’re not “official” but people still have a blast.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Oh for sure. Plenty of hobbyist obviously like the game and the ships alot; which is great for them – thats their hobby. Its not my bag for a wargame and, as per my comment, I see the game as expensive for what it is and what you get. Justifiably, for many, that could be also said about other wargames, including the ones I enjoy. Its the whole value for money thing – which is individual for everyone.

  • Love the game but have no one to play against so I’m getting rid of my models.

  • vyrago

    a collectible card game played with expensive miniatures.

  • frankelee

    This is one of those games I’ve put on the back burner and hope to get some more for someday when it falls out of favor and goes on sale.

  • ZeeLobby

    Lot of hate in the comments section, but people locally love playing this game. Printing cards is widely accepted locally, and people don’t seem to think prepainted is the devil. I don’t play but I can see why people like it.

    • Karru

      I agree with you, I can clearly see why people would like it, it is very simple game in terms of rules and has some depth in terms of tactics.

      My main problem with it is the pre-painted stuff, then the price. A single Imperial fleet with with most of the ships available to choose from costs roughly 270€. That is a grand total of 5 Ships and 22 smaller crafts/squadrons. 27 bases worth of models, I am basically paying 10€ per base. For that budget, I started my Guard Infantry Army. Then there is the main issue, all this comes pre-assembled and painted. I am not much of a gamer all things considered. I know all the rules for 40k since 5th and 7th/8th for Fantasy, I know insane amount of tactics for most armies and can explain them pretty well to anyone who’d like to know. Even then, 99% of my time is spent painting, assembling and collecting miniatures for my armies. I like to see my armies grow, look at them and admire my own hard work I put into them.

      Armada doesn’t really offer that choice. No reason to really re-paint them as the quality is already decent, besides you are paying a premium price because of it.

    • 415Native

      I play this game with some of my coworkers, and it’s really fun. Lower price point of entry and less time per game then 40K too.

  • tfkimmortal

    I have some of the stuff but now one to play with. The closest stores to me only do magic or GW games. There is no interest in the rest. The store I did warmachine in closed and moved too. :/

  • Sleeplessknight

    The best part about Armada and X-wing is that the miniatures look great. Even if the game dies or if you can’t find anyone to play with, you can hang up your models on fishing line and build a decently scaled (I know Armada is a sliding scale) diorama to enjoy that way.

  • marxlives

    I tied DFC, but the funny thing is most of people who post “play DFC” are just disenchanted BFG players from 40k who don’t buy or play DFC. Not all but most. That said, X-Wing system is tight, solid, and fun. Never had to buy extra upgrades to beat a guy so bad that he ran over a puddle just to get me on the way out of the shop. It is a VERY geometric game. So if you sucked at geometry, probably going to be sad pandas all around. With Legions coming out and the new campaign system out for Armanda you can bet your sweet pandas that I am going to get into this game.

  • marlowc

    This game has been a solid favourite with my group ever since it first came out, though we have made a few fairly major changes to the way it plays.
    Why people put up with the standard collision rules, and the way the same player goes first every turn is a complete mystery to me 🙂

  • Marco Marantz

    Its Star Wars fleet battles which is cool. Unfortunately, like Xwing, it revolves around bloody cards which is a terrible game design/mechanic. I loathe it.

  • Piotr Chełstowski

    I tried and sold my starter box as noone is playing armada in my store. Cool game but yeah, cant play it.