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Star Wars: Armada – New Rules of Engagement Released

5 Minute Read
Dec 1 2020

Star Wars: Armada has a brand new rules update for all you aspiring Space Admirals out there. Check out what’s new!

Star Wars: Armada is getting a LOT of changes in preparation for the entrance of the Clone Wars era ships. If you’ve been waiting for a big shake-up, this is basically Star Wars: Armada 1.5. I’ll let Fantasy Flight Games explain.

via FFG

“Armada veterans will notice a number of significant changes as you read through the updated RRG. However, we encourage you to think of this as Armada version 1.5. It’s still the same game, but with some added features to improve play and support a new era of expansions. This release article is meant to give you an overview of the changes and the thinking the design team has put into them.”

To kick things off, FFG has a new Rules Reference as well as Card Collection Update.

Star Wars: Armada – Rules Reference

Star Wars: Armada – Card Collection Update

Now, before you go diving in, you may want to know what sorts of changes you can expect. These new rules go into official use on December 11, 2020 – but realistically, you can probably use them starting today. It’s interesting to note that many of these types of changes were based off the trends found in the tournament community. The implication is that many of these updates were to rebalance or change some of those trends and make the meta-game fresh once again. So, let’s get on to some of the big changes!

Pass Tokens

“This is the single biggest change to the core Armada game experience. We’ve repurposed the pass token mechanic introduced with the Super Star Destroyer to provide more parity to fleets with lower activations than their opponents. Tokens are now expendable and spent during the Ship Phase to pass an activation turn.”


What this means is that fleets with fewer ships (and thus fewer activations) will now be on more even footing in the activation department. Delaying your big ship activation at a critical moment can sometimes be the difference between bringing all your guns to bare and completely missing your shot. This should make the gameplay even more tactical and strategic.

Evade Tokens

“With the changes to allow more passing, the activation advantage of small ships has necessarily been reduced. As small ships also rely heavily on the Evade token, this would also weaken their survivability. To offset this, we have revised this token’s effect so that its medium-range reroll effect now also works at close range (including distance 1).”

Again, these changes were designed to counter-balance against the new Pass token changes. Hopefully, they allow small ships to still have a place in your fleets as well.

Squadron Changes

“We’ve made several changes to address this, starting with limiting the number of unique-named squadrons with defense tokens that a player can add during fleet building. These squadrons are now limited to one per 100 fleet points of the agreed total for each fleet.


We have also revised the effect of the Intel keyword, so that it is no longer as easy for bombers to completely ignore engaging squadrons. Intel now grants friendly squadrons at distance 1 Grit, instead of giving enemy squadrons Heavy.”

Keep in mind that these are only 2 of the many other changes but they are important. First up is the limit of squadrons with defense tokens – that limit is now 1 per 100 fleet points. This alone is a pretty big shift for squadron and should (hopefully) help change up how players were using them.

Secondly, the Intel keyword was a bit too strong and has been tweaked. It no longer grants enemies Heavy (and thus allowed the potential to bypass them). Instead, it gives friendly squadrons at distance 1 Grit. I think this is a pretty understandable change as it didn’t make sense that the enemy intercepting squadrons were suddenly “Heavy” – Mechanically, I see what they were doing, but did you shoot them with some type of gravity distorting weapon to change their molecular make-up? No? Then how did they become Heavy. Yes, I understand those are two different things. It’s a joke about theme vs mechanics. Don’t take it too seriously. Also weightlessness in space makes things not have a “weight” (mass and weight are different) so can anything truly be Heavy? Movement in space would all based off of momentum and…you know what, nevermind…Let’s just move on.

New Rules

The new update includes all the new Clone Wars Era ships and their new rules. There are too many to list here, so go check out the document for the nitty-gritty details.

Updated Cards, Tokens, and References

“The biggest of these new rules are the new upgrade card symbology representing cards that start play with command tokens or dials, and upgrade cards that require a cost to be readied. We have added these rules to provide more room in the game for new types of card effects with more concise text. They also allow for and for more options in the pacing of effects, such as a middle ground between discard cards and those that can be used every round. Some older cards that used long-form text for these types of effects (such as Grand Admiral Thrawn) have been revised in the new Upgrade Card Collection to use these icons instead.”


FFG has also moved the card sizes to a “consistent” size. Your old cards will still be legal, it’s just that the new cards are going to be reformatted for where the upgrades and points were.

There are many other changes in the two documents above but the good news is that all the rules have been consolidated into one place. This should make it easier for everyone to find and refer to the rules now. Check out the rest of the changes directly from FFG.


The Clone War has begun…

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